My Dad is Bigger

1 John 4: 4

You are from God, children, and you have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

This is one of those verses that we hear often but I wonder if we see the meaning in it. Yesterday we explored the idea of treating the Bible as literal truth. What happens if you do that with this verse?

Who is it that is in us? The verse from yesterday, 1 John 4: 15 reveals that God lives inside of everyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God. Who is “he who is in the world?” This phrase refers to Satan. So rephrase this to read, greater is God who lives in you than Satan who is in the world. Yeah, I guess so!!

There is another group indicated in this passage. The verse says, “you have overcome them.” “Them” refers to those who do not acknowledge that Jesus came from God. The various translations refer either to people or spirits, but we needn’t be confused by that. When we were created, we were called speaking spirits. At our core, we are spirits wearing a flesh robe. The God’s Word translation adds clarity, “But every person who doesn’t declare that Jesus Christ has come as a human has a spirit that isn’t from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you have heard is coming. That spirit is already in the world ,(v. 3).

So, we have now identified all the parties. You have been labeled an overcomer and God says you have already overcome those who do not acknowledge Jesus as the Christ whether they be spirits or people whose spirit is speaking. We know that the world has trouble but be comforted. You can overcome the world because, as we learned yesterday, you are in God (John 16: 33, 1 John 4: 15).

Now to the nitty gritty. He who is in the world is out there just trying to stir up trouble for you. He is a trouble maker. It’s what he does. Just look what happened in the Garden of Eden thanks to his meddling. You do not have to be a victim to his machinations though because greater is He who lives in you than he who is trying to make trouble. God is big enough for the troubles. We apply the oil of His anointing to the troubling situations and let His grace move the mountains with our faith.

Living in God as He lives in us is one of the key ways to keep the enemy on the run. Our ministry slogan is “Intertwined with Jesus” because that is where your safety and assurance rests. He is our pathway and that path leads directly to our Father who awaits our arrival.

Endeavor to live every day in God. Learn to live to the Spirit rather than to the flesh. Learn what that means if you don’t know. Let the Lord live through you and have expression through you because he has already defeated every foe. The greater one lives in you. Let this speak to your spirit today.

Friend or Foe?

Matthew 24: 6

And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.

People like to talk about the end of the world or the coming apocalypse. This verse is one of the more popular forecasting verses. It certainly does lead one to conclude we are reaching the end of the age.

The focus people usually take from this scripture is the “wars and rumors of wars.” I think Jesus had a much bigger message in this passage than mere prognostication. He gives instruction saying, “see that you are not frightened.” How overlooked and forgotten these important words are.

Jesus intends to encourage and warn us. He lets us know that, yes, there will be wars, etc., but, he says, let not that fact be your focal point. See that you do not succumb to fear when you hear of wars or rumors of wars. Now, let me ask you this. As a body, how have we done at obeying Jesus in this directive? In your estimation, are more Christians frightened or confident in the face of the tumultuous political climate in which we live?

The tragedy of 911 was calamitous and devastating to Americans. However, the greater damage was done in the psyche of Americans as we bowed to fear and gave up liberty. We chose to bend our knee to the wars and rumors of wars rather than to extend our confidence in Jesus. Overnight we became imbued with fear. One can understand this reaction. Perhaps some even call it wise, but I recognize the ground we have given up in the name of caution and safety. Rather than shrink into our shells like turtles, a better response is emboldened prayer, prayer that relies on and expects God’s power and response. We, too, can pray like David did.

I don’t want to die anymore than anyone else and I certainly do not want my family put at risk but there are things much worse than death. To die is to be with Christ. In fact, you cannot kill me because I already have eternal life. Allowing ourselves to turn into a cowardly race is sacrilege. Letting our hearts become the haven of fear is worse than death, or perhaps it is a death. Jesus died that we might be free. That necessarily means that we are to have hearts that are free and light. There is no fear in love, therefore, no fear in Christ or our Father. Fear is only on Satan’s scorecard. Faith is the measure of God.

What I am suggesting is that we talk to ourselves. When we see things which cause fear to expose itself in our hearts, we need to immediately begin to preach Jesus to ourselves. We should immediately oppose fear. I don’t say it is always going to be easy but if we are to become an overcoming people, then we need a strong backbone. We cannot stand without a backbone. Paul taught us to stand firm. He knew, as Jesus warned, that difficult times arise. However, without regard for whatever challenge the devil concocts, we can stand against those trials because the Lord Jesus has already defeated all evil. He is victorious. He is the Lord.

Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world,” (1 John 4: 4). These words must begin to have actual, real meaning and genuine application in our lives. Fear is your foe. Do not let it have a nesting place in your heart.

God . . . never fails

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Today ends this series. I hope you have enjoyed it. We know better than ever the very nature and character of God. Today’s final entry is a good conclusion. If we cannot remember all sixteen attributes of love, this one certainly seems to say it all, Love never fails. Yahoo! Translate that – it means God will never, ever fail us. We may fall short of the prize but God never has, never will. He does not fail.

You are born of this great love, you know. So, you have all the power of love living inside you. You need not fail, ever. “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4: 4). The great one is He who has taken up residence within you. His power is yours, even His love is yours. We can express all that God is but not through our own strength and willpower. As we intertwine with Him we learn to express that integration. God brings out the best in us. He infuses everything that we are with everything He is. It’s like having a constant blood infusion of God’s blood, or should we say, of Jesus’ blood. There is so much revelation buried in that statement that we could camp out for months on its truth. This is who you are though, the born of love, born of the greater one you. You are God’s greatest miracle. You may see flaws but they are only skin deep, truly.

Love truly is power and you are heir to this unfailing power. I think you are justified in shouting right here. Love never fails, so God never fails and He, God, is enmeshed, intermingled, intertwined, intermixed and co-mingled in your DNA. You have God’s life blood flowing through your veins. When we all get a big revelation of all of this we will walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead and do even more than Jesus as he said we would (John 14: 12). If we knew what a great miracle God had wrought in us, truly nothing would be impossible to us . (Matthew 17: 20).

Whatever you aspire to, whatever dreams and ambitions you hold in your heart the love which is God longs to fulfill them all. Regardless of past failures, despite the naysayers, the most powerful force on earth believes with you and in you. Don’t give up and don’t give in because love never does and . . . love never fails.

Big Brother

1 John 4: 4

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

We are God’s little children and precious in his sight. He cares for us as any good parent would look after their small children. He is protection to us as well as leadership, guidance and even correction when necessary. It was out of his great love that he sent his son in the first place. Jesus is the perfect big brother. He has fought the bully who has tried to pick on the younger, smaller siblings. When we were defenseless, he arrived on the scene to overcome all manner of torment and aggression. He defeated the devil and all of his cronies and purchased our freedom from the tyranny of our former bondage. Now, in the freedom that Jesus purchased for us, we are overcomers because he lives in us and greater is he who lives in us than all of the problems, demons and challenges of this world. Greater is Christ in us than anything the devil can throw at us. When he tries to overcome us, even if by a horde of his devilment, we just shout the name of our big brother and He comes to our side and sets the bully into fearful flight.